Tag: 1990s

August 12, 2022

Song of the Day: Twotimer - I Forget

Pop-punk band Twotimer released 2 albums and then called it quits. Very little is known about the band, other than their recorded output. After a self-titled and self-released debut in 1998, the band signed to punk stalwarts Screaming Giant Records and issued See What Happens from Here in 2000. The album featured snot-nosed, yet melodic tunes that bordered on pop-punk and new school/skate punk, but with vocal harmonies. Recommended for fans of Side Walk Slam, Shorthanded, and early MxPX.… Continued →

August 5, 2022

Song(s) of the Day: Bloodgood - Crucify / The Messiah

If you’ve been following social media regarding the Christian scene at all over the recent weeks/months, you’ll likely be aware of Michael Bloodgood’s recent health issues, culminating in his death last week. Michael was a co-founder, and obviously namesake, of the legendary and seminal Christian metal band Bloodgood. The band has been active since the 1980s, with their first album coming out in 1986. They stood out from the pack in various ways: the theatrical singing and stage antics of lead vocalist Les Carlsen, the top-notch music and writing of the band, and their no-compromise approach to lyrics and music ministry.… Continued →

July 29, 2022

Song of the Day: Vaakevandring - Some Day

This Norwegian band formed in 1999, and sadly by 2007 had called it quits. Hailing from Nannestad, just outside Oslo, they played a formed of atmospheric BM that appealed to many who heard them. While their lifespan was short, their impact was huge. You can still read accolades from fans on music-related social media pages, and band members have also been associated with a number of other, more well-known bands including Antestor, Frosthardr, and Grave Declaration.… Continued →

July 8, 2022

Song of the Day: Jyradelix - Out for Love

For a brief moment in the early 1990s, it looked like electronica (or techno, or rave as it was being called at the time) was going to take over popular music. It had a huge following in Christian alternative music for a good two years. Although the synthesizer-driven genre had little to do with the guitar-dominated alt-rock, grunge, and hardcore punk of the era, what it did have in common with those genres was simply being an oddball style of music with which to glorify God.… Continued →

June 24, 2022

Song of the Day: Bruce Cockburn - Wondering Where the Lions Are

This veteran, Canadian singer-songwriter has been active since at least the early 70s (probably earlier), since his debut eponymous album came out in 1970. I first became acquainted with his music in the 1990s, reading an album review in CCM Magazine, but also hearing equally about his accolades from the secular press. I took a chance on buying a live album, when I found a copy of his 1990 live album (he’s done at least 5 live albums), Bruce Cockburn Live on cassette.… Continued →

June 17, 2022

Song of the Day: Travail - Weakling

Hailing from the fertile heavy music scene of the greater DFW region, and specifically Ft. Worth, Travail mixed heavy rap-core and nu metal riffs with dark tones and lyrics about the Christian struggle. Heavier than most in the genre, the band was sometimes referred to as “gothic rap-core” due to the darker tones and minor keys. Yet the lyrics pointed to higher things: I’ve failed you I’ve lied to you Yet you forgive and let me live Oh God help my weakness Oh give me your strength Father help me I’ll go to any length On my face, on my chest, on my knees God help me please My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak The band released a split EP with Luti-Kriss (who, of course, eventually became Norma Jean), and two full-length albums: Anchor of My Soul for the secular Pluto Records and Beautiful Loneliness for Metrovox, a sub-label Metro One.… Continued →

May 27, 2022

Song of the Day: Sincerely Paul - Nineteen Years

One of my all-time favorite record labels of the indie Christian scene was Blonde Vinyl. Run by Michael Knott (LSU/Lifesavers, and about a dozen others), it was one of the first truly indie, truly alternative record labels focusing on Christian artists. Knott never got rich off of the sales. (A few years later, Brandon Ebel would show us how to make a Christian indie label financially profitable.) Furthermore, not all of the releases on Blonde Vinyl were even that great–I won’t name any names–but all of them were charming in some way.… Continued →

May 13, 2022

Song of the Day: The O.C. Supertones - Adonai

No, The Supertones weren’t the first Christian ska band. The Israelites’ first album pre-dated them by a year. But in the UK, Rev Counta and the Speedoze* (another incarnation of Ishmael United) had released a full-length as early as 1980! And perhaps some Jamaican bands that didn’t fit into the CCM/CBA mold had been active earlier than that, it’s hard to say. However, the Supertones were the first Christian ska band to release an album on a nationally-distributed label, releasing The Adventures of the O.C.Continued →

April 22, 2022

Song of the Day: Sixpence None the Richer - Love, Salvation, the Fear of Death

I first heard Sixpence None the Richer while listening to a cassette demo in the Christian bookstore in 1993. They had me from the opening acoustic guitar riffs on “Field of Flowers,” the opening track from The Fatherless and the Widow. That album was fantastic, but even so, it was only a foretaste of what was to come. While the band are largely known for their romantic pop radio hit, “Kiss Me,” from their self-titled third album, many fans and critics alike are drawn to their sophomore album, This Beautiful Mess.… Continued →

April 15, 2022

Song of the Day: MxPx - Want Ad

Y’all better to get ready to put your boxing gloves on. You ready for this? Pokinatcha is the best MxPx (Magnified Plaid) album. Why? It was melodic, but still very much punk–bordering even on old school hardcore at times. It’s by far their most unique record, before they settled into the more polished pop-punk sound that everyone remembers. To be clear, I have no problem with the direction they later took (except for maybe moving further away from Christian spirituality and theology as the years went by, but that’s another post altogether).… Continued →

April 1, 2022

Song of the Day: The Israelites - Israelite Train

The 1990s saw a huge revival of ska music–that funky fusion of reggae and punk, or so it seemed at the time. The real history of ska was much deeper than that. Unbeknownst to the general populace, ska actually pre-dates reggae, going back to at least the 1960s. It fused traditional calypso beats with horns and sounds gleaned from New Orleans jazz. Reggae emerged in the 70s, as tempos slowed down and the overall feel became more relaxed.… Continued →

March 11, 2022

Subsist announce vinyl pressing of The Rhythm Method

Legendary, underground, Midwest technical hardcore/metalcore band Subsist announce a vinyl pressing of their acclaimed (and originally self-released on CD only) album The Rhythm Method. The Midwest band released 2 CDs in the late 90s/early 00s before calling it quits. Those in the know have always been aware of their greatness, despite their underground status. This first-ever vinyl pressing is a co-release through Steadfast Records and Dropping Bombs. See the Big Cartel link below for ordering info.… Continued →

Song of the Day: Eden Burning - My Senses Fly

The 90s comprised an amazing decade for alternative Christian music. We had metal, punk rock, emo, industrial, and out of left field we also had an amazing run of alternative-tinged folk rock. I was primarily a metalhead/hard alternative guy when I got hit by this amazing run of folk acts like Lost Dogs, Nicolas Giaconia, Acoustic Shack, and the UK’s own Eden Burning. While Eden Burning had been going in their native England for several years prior, their first US release was Vinegar and Brown Paper, for Storyville Records, a folk imprint of R.E.X.… Continued →

March 4, 2022

Song of the Day: Brainwash Projects - Want for Nada

If anyone asked me to name my favorite Christian hip-hop project of all time, it is without a doubt Brainwash Projects, and their sole album The Rise and Fall of . . . . Perhaps the album title was a hint at how long the project would last, and we all just missed it at the time. Rise and Fall had everything: lyrical witticisms, dope beats, funky rhymes, and humor by the bucketloads. While the whole album is worth listening to straight through without skipping any tracks, one of the strongest singles is “Want for Nada,” a testimony to God’s faithfulness.… Continued →

February 25, 2022

Song of the Day: Painted Orange - You Walked

Synth-pop is sort of the illegitimate child of alternative rock and disco. Although it’s not obvious, its roots like in experimental forms of music like krautrock and post-punk. As new wave splintered further and further away from punk, and added more and more synthesizers, synth-pop was being birthed. In the mainstream, acts as diverse as Kraftwerk, New Order, and Pet Shop Boys were solidifying the sound. I loved 90s synth-pop, or simply “techno” as we called it then.… Continued →

February 11, 2022

Song of the Day: Driver Eight - Cheers

This band was the epitome of one of those all-too-common scenarios in 90s Christian music: the frustratingly great one-album wonder. Driver Eight released Watermelon via Tooth and Nail Records in 1996, to high acclaim from fans and critics alike, and then disappeared into the . . . well, that’s just it–we don’t know what happened! The album featured a highly-effective mix of alternative rock styles including Britpop (even though the band was American), quasi-shoegaze, and jangle pop.… Continued →

May 21, 2021

Song of the Day: No Laughing Matter - Bad Blood

Arizona’s No Laughing Matter were kind of a ‘love ’em or hate ’em’ kind of game. Dark and broody, they didn’t fit in with most CCM at the time. Heck, even the alternative stuff wasn’t quite this dark, for the most part. Scott Roman’s dramatic wail was an acquired taste. The guitars alternated between goth-rock and the occasional nod to funk (see “Helltown”). Of particular interest were the deep bass grooves. They were one of Christian music’s very few, true “post-punk” bands in the proper sense of the term.… Continued →

May 14, 2021

Song of the Day: Code of Ethics - Hold Me

Code of Ethics hit on the Christian music scene in 1991 with their brilliant debut Visual Paradox for R.E.X. Music (later re-issued on Forefront), having already released an independent cassette demo a year prior. The album was a synth-pop triumph, taking the best of techno-pop and alternative dance and fusing them into a singular whole that was as danceable as Information Society, but as catchy as Pet Shop Boys or Erasure. I once had a chance to catch the band live, opening for The Prayer Chain.… Continued →

May 7, 2021

Reese Roper (Five Iron Frenzy) and Joe Yerke (Insyderz) Launch Pickle & Bootshoppe Podcast

Reese Roper and Joe Yerke are up to their old games again. They obliterating our ear drums with a new podcast that will chase friends away and make enemies of family members. This “Pickle & Boot Shoppe Podcast” is the things nightmares are made of. Listen through your favorite podcasting/digital network now. Make Millennials shed snowflake tears with this icy cold, middle aged attempt to grasp at fading youth. Well, you know I do appreciate the music of both their respective bands so I can’t knock this too hard even if they are jaded, sarcastic old guys that reek of grotesque cynicism.… Continued →